England sevens head coach Simon Amor admits his young side are relishing the challenge ahead as they gear up for the latest HSBC Sevens World Series in Wellington.
England, nominated as the lead side for the home nations in the sevens Rio 2016 qualification process, need to clinch a top-four finish in this year’s Series.
They currently sit in sixth position with 37 points, nine behind fourth-placed Australia.
However, they have the chance to close that gap in Wellington this weekend where they have been drawn in Pool B alongside hosts New Zealand, Canada and Papua New Guinea.
While Amor’s squad isn’t packed with experience for the trip, they do have Worcester Warriors stars Richard De Carpentier and James Stephenson to call on as well as former New Zealand sevens player Warwick Lahmert and captain Tom Mitchell.
And Amor is hoping his side can navigate their way through some tricky encounters.
“We’ve lost some experienced players ahead of this leg, but it’s great to bring back Marcus Watson and we’re extremely grateful to Worcester Warriors and Dean Ryan for allowing both Richard De Carpentier and James Stephenson to join us,” he said.
“It’s also pleasing to bring Warwick in who has World Series experience with New Zealand and has the potential to be a great player for us.
“It’s a tricky one – certainly. Papua New Guinea are a little bit of an unknown quality but they have a strong Fijian influence and will be dangerous, Canada will be extremely physical and then New Zealand will of course be a real challenge on their own turf.
“It’s a challenge, particularly with the inexperienced group that we have heading out there, but we’ve trained well and it’s a challenge we’re looking forward to.”
© Sportsbeat 2015